The Africa Cookbook

Acknowledging and celebrating Black history and culture does not end in February, but i hope this month you’ve discovered some new resources- check out @meimeiboston for a few suggestions and of course follow @drjessicabharris author of #TheAfricaCookbook.

Before she gets to the recipes, Dr. Harris provides “2,001,998 Years of Food, from the Paleolithic to the Present” with a culinary overview of the continent. It concludes with an ode to yams, clarifying that Thanksgiving sweet potatoes have perpetuated “yam confusion” about what is a true yam. In the Vegetables chapter, Dr. Harris shares that the traditional African diet was vegetarian, with a huge variety of greens and pumpkins, then from the Columbian Exchange (colonizers bringing the New World back to West Africa) additions of corn, hominy, bell peppers, chiles, and tomatoes. She says Africa is an “unheralded vegetarian paradise.” 😍

There are so many recipes I want to make from this book! We have a huge squash stash we need to keeping chipping away at from the garden this summer, so I chose a recipe for Cape Malay Calabaza, as you can also use acorn or butternut. This recipe from South Africa has dried apricots, fresh squeezed orange juice, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter, baked with foil on top so the squash braises/steams in the juice. It was absolutely delicious with all the Thanksgiving vibes and no yam confusion 🧡

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